Mathematics has two faces. Presented in a finished form, mathematics appears as a purely demonstrative science, but mathematics in the making is a sort of experimental science. A correctly written mathematical paper is supposed to contain strict demonstrations only, but the creative work of the mathematician resembles the creative work of the naturalist: observation, analogy, and conjectural generalizations, or mere guesses, if you prefer to say so, play an essential rôle in both. A mathematical theorem must be guessed before it is proved. The idea of a demonstration must be guessed before the details are carried through. ( Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA, August 30 September 6, 1950, Providence RI, American Mathematical Society, 1952, 739).Therefore the teacher must teach his students both demonstrative reasoning, as well as plausible reasoning, that is "the kind of reasoning on which his creative work will mainly depend" ( Proceedings, op. cit., 476).
The problem of determining the place of mathematics cannot be divorced from technical considerations concerning teaching methods. If we judge by the results, we must find it difficult to escape from the conclusion that our attempts to teach mathematics as part of a program of mass education have so far been, to put it bluntly, a colossal failure, traceable to our ignorance and complacency in respect to the art of teaching. (M. Stone, La prima assemblea generale, op. cit., 1974, also in EM 39, 1942-1950, p. 159)Stone invites the ICMI to collaborate with UNESCO. L'IMU designates H. Behnke, A. Châtelet, R.L. Jeffery, D. Kurepa as members of the new commission, and requests that H. Fehr remain available during the transition period (EM 39, 1942-1950, p. 162 ).
Elle réunit les vraies compétences et elle résulte de la prise de conscience que l'équipe la plus puissante qui se puisse constituer aujourd'hui pour aborder ces problèmes doit être formée de ceux qui ont montré dans leurs travaux une préoccupation couvrant en même temps plusieurs domaines : mathématiques et psychologie ; histoire des mathématiques comme histoire des réalisations mentales de certaines relations ; pédagogie comme activité englobant le monde des relations mathématiques mêlé à des techniques de transmission et des obstacles dans l'acte d'apprendre, etc. (Cf. L'enseignement des mathématiques , Neuchatel, Delachaux & Niestlé, 1955, Préface)
It is my understanding that the Commission has proposed an arrangement whereby it will seek the adherence of several nations and set up special national committees in the adhering nations to work with the Commission. I believe that activity of this kind is inappropriate for a Commission of the Union and that it would lead to intolerable confusion as to the relations between the Union, the Commission, and the nations adhering to one or the other. My own immediate suggestion as to the proposed way of handing the relations between the Commission and the national bodies interested in supporting it would be to urge all interested nations to adhere to the Union and to arrange for the appointment of suitable persons to the National Committees for Mathematics which have to be set up as part of the procedure of adhering to the Union. The Commission could then arrange for direct contacts with these National Committees by co-opting as members or as liaison agents appropriate members of the National Committee. (ICMI Archives, 1952-1954, 3.11.1952)W. Hodge, member of the EC of IMU, to Stone:
About ICMI, I agree very strongly that something must be done to curb its activities. At a recent meeting of our national committee very grave concern was expressed at the fact that so many of the Commission's activities were carried on behind our backs and that we were being let in for responsibilities we know nothing about. They are demanding all sorts of things for individuals who have merely been asked to help in minor capacities, and their behaviour is quite unfair to these individuals and to the National Committee. I learn, too, that they are assuming quite unjustifiable rights in regard to their membership; e, g. they claim the sole right to replace any individual member who resigns. I think it will be necessary to lay down very precise terms of reference for the Commission, and to define its powers very rigidly. It will also be necessary to select a president very carefully. I agree that we should get rid of Châtelet ( IMU Archives, 31.5.1954, cfr. Lehto 1998, 111).M. Stone to Châtelet:
In connection with the Constitution of the National Sub-Commissions, I recall our agreement that each such Sub-Commission is to be in the first place a Sub-Committee of the National Committee for Mathematics in the Country which it represents. (ICMI Archives, 1952-1954, 29.7.1954)
The Commission shall be charged with the conduct of the activities of IMU, bearing on mathematical and scientific education, and shall take the initiative in inaugurating appropriate programs designed to further the sound development of mathematical education at all levels and to secure public appreciation of its importance. (E. BOMPIANI, Record of the Second General Assembly, op. cit., 12-13, and EM, 40, 1951-1954, p. 93)In keeping with the decisions made in The Hague, the Executive Committee of the ICMI is to be renovated starting in January 1955. The General Assembly of the IMU nominates the ten members-at-large who will be part of ICMI ( Y. Akizuki (Japan), G. Ascoli (Italy), H. Behnke (Germany), Ram Behari (India), P. J. Dubreil (France), J.C.H. Gerretsen (Netherlands), R.L. Jeffery (Canada), D. Kurepa (Yugoslavia), E.A. Maxwell (England), M.H. Stone (USA), and designates H. Behnke as president of ICMI (EM 40, 1951-1954, p. 91).